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Nick Law departs Publicis Groupe for 'once in a lifetime opportunity' at Apple

Publicis Groupe's chief creative officer Nick Law is to depart the holding company after less than 18 months in the role for a "once in a lifetime" opportunity at Apple. 

The shock move was confirmed by Publicis' chairman and chief executive Arthur Sadoun in a memo to staff, which was seen by The Drum. 

Law's position at Apple is unspecified as of yet.

He confirmed his departure in a note to the company: "This was a very hard decision for me. Not only have I enjoyed my time at Publicis, I’ve been energized by the ambition and relentless transformation of the Groupe. Publicis has the right plan, right model and the right people to solve the big challenges clients are facing.  I wish I could continue to be a part of the journey – but the once in a lifetime opportunity to work with a brand I’ve admired my whole life was too good to ignore," he stated. 

Law took on the newly-created role within the business in January 2018, recruited by Sadoun after 17 years at Interpublic's RGA as an essential hire to help the business deliver its 'Power of One' model to clients – which offers marketing solutions at a group level. 

As such, he was charged with developing  "a unified creative ethos" across the creative agency brands including Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide and BBH.

It's not yet clear how Publicis intends to replace Law.

Sadoun told staff that this collaborative vision will remain "core" to the group, highlighting Liz Taylor's recent appointment to the role of chief creative officer at Leo Burnett and chief creative officer at Publicis Communications.

He said along with John Maeda (chief experience officer Publicis Sapient), and Ben Mooge (chief creative officer, Publicis Groupe UK) the company would "continue to build a creative collective, based on the belief that the future of creativity needs a broad spectrum of thinkers and makers to deliver the kind of groundbreaking ideas and products that our clients deserve."

He added: "Together with our creative leaders around the world, they will be responsible for spearheading the world’s best storytelling, experiences and innovation."

Law, who chaired The Drum Advertising Awards jury in 2018, was also president of Publicis Communications.

At the time of writing, neither Publicis nor Apple had released an official statement around the move. 

You can read the internal email sent to staff announcing Law's departure and Law's own statement below: 

Bonjour,

I wanted to share with you all some bittersweet news, which many of you have probably already heard.

In September, Nick Law will leaving the Groupe to join Apple.

It’s ‘sweet’ news, because of course you only ever want what is best for your friends, and Nick sees this as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for him.

But of course, we would have loved to have Nick with us forever.

Since Nick’s arrival, we have accomplished a lot. We have considerably strengthened our creative and strategic bench. We have considerably strengthened our creative bench and our global creative brands, Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis, Leo Burnett, BBH and Marcel. Thanks to our incredible leaders, at the global and local level like Kate, Bruno, Andy, Pelle, Anne, Marco, Taras, Britt, Chaka and Jason to name just a few, we’ve established strong centers of creative excellence across the world.

I want to take this moment to thank Nick for all of that, and just as importantly, for bringing to the entire management team and the Groupe creative community a vision and an ambition for modern creativity.

We will make sure that this vision continues to be at the core of the Groupe. That is why with the appointment of Liz Taylor, (CCO Leo Burnett and CCO Publicis Communications NA) and John Maeda (Chief Experience Officer Publicis Sapient), and Ben Mooge (Chief Creative Officer, Publicis Groupe UK) we continue to build a creative collective, based on the belief that the future of creativity needs a broad spectrum of thinkers and makers to deliver the kind of groundbreaking ideas and products that our clients deserve. Together with our creative leaders around the world, they will be responsible for spearheading the world’s best storytelling, experiences and innovation.

Voilà, I’m sure you will join me in wishing Nick the best on his new journey.

Merci Nick et bon vent!

Amitiés,

Arthur

Law also sent his own goodbye memo to staff.

He didn't reveal what his role would be at Apple but said the chance to work with a brand he'd admired his "whole life" was "too good" to ignore:

As you just heard from Arthur, I’m leaving the agency world to join Apple, 

This was a very hard decision for me. Not only have I enjoyed my time at Publicis, I’ve been energized by the ambition and relentless transformation of the Groupe. Publicis has the right plan, right model and the right people to solve the big challenges clients are facing.  I wish I could continue to be a part of the journey – but the once in a lifetime opportunity to work with a brand I’ve admired my whole life was too good to ignore.

I hope our world-class creative community has benefited from my time at Publicis. I’ll spend the next few months meeting with many of you, helping in any way I can - but confident of your future success. I’ve no doubt I’ll maintain the countless deep relationships I’ve developed at the Groupe.

I’d like to thank the amazing executive team for your support, the peerless talent for your inspiration, and our fearless leader, Arthur, for his trust.

All the best,

Nick 

This story is developing, further coverage will follow

Featured by The Drum

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